Congratulations, you've been born and you're a girl! In some countries that's a death sentence right there...just being a girl can get you killed or abandoned. Seems people want sons. Even my own dad told my mother, "You will give me sons." He was teasing of course but God showed him who's boss and Daddy ended up with 4 daughters who adore him....and no sons! (He does, however, have 4 grandsons...one from each daughter. So you see, God has a sense of humor as well as a spirit of grace)
Now, back to you being a girl. When you're little the boys don't want to play with you because you're...GASP...a girl! You can't throw the ball right, you can't run fast enough, and your hair gets in the way of everything.
But wait...you turn 11 or 12 and all of a sudden the boys start noticing you. All of a sudden you have breasts and they hurt and they get in the way and the boys make fun of you even though they secretly like the way you look in your new Christmas sweater.
Then it happens! Mother Nature shows up and you're menstruating. Really!?! Is there no better way to accomplish the process of reproduction? In all of His wisdom and benevolence, could God not come up with a cleaner, less gross way to achieve the same end result? And so it begins, years and years of month after month of hormones and blood.
Some of those months may be interrupted by pregnancy...yay! During which you bloat, get huge, have your insides rearranged, live on crackers because of nausea and/or constant heartburn, and then push a wriggling bundle of joy from the inside...out!
Please don't get me wrong, pregnancy and the miracle of birth are just that...miracles. They are blessed and so precious and I don't regret even a second of it. However, the process is exhausting, painful and, at times, downright disgusting.
After your children come into the world, you spend the next several months being chewed on, barfed on, pooped on, cried on, and sleepless. That's not to say that Dads don't also go through this but generally speaking it's Mom's who bear the brunt of it.
Your children grow up and stop needing you- which one would think was a good thing but to a Mom who has devoted her life to taking care of her children, it leaves her feeling unneeded and at loose ends.
And then our bodies once again send us for a loop and change...welcome to perimenopause! Night sweats, weight gain, sleeplessness, and feeling like you want to cry all the time.
This is where I'm at, beginning this not-so-delightful journey of self discovery. I'm learning that I can go from laughing and joyful to crying and depressed in 3.4 seconds flat. I'm learning that I can actually function- not well mind you- on less than 2 hours of sleep a night for several nights in a row. I've discovered that I can now wrap an elastic hairband around all of my hair 4 times when I used to be lucky to make it around twice....because all my hair has found it's way to the shower drain and/or the bathroom floor. But it seems for every hair that abandons my head, three more pop up somewhere on my face and chin. What a treat! Maybe I'll need a hair elastic for those soon and it'll take the focus off my soon to be bald head!
In all seriousness, though, if you know a woman between the ages of 35 and 51 who is or may be experiencing the signs and symptoms of menopause...please go easy on her. Please understand that her body is letting her down and she's struggling to cope with it. Please be a blessing to her and help her smile instead of making her cry. This is hard and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy.